Consider An Online Course

Consider An Online Course

You enroll for an online course just as you would for any other college course. You can find information about enrolling at the college's main web site at http://www.pgcc.edu. You can expect to pay the same tuition and fees for your online course as you would for other college courses.

Contact Us

Enterprise Technology has implemented a new service called askPGCC. This new service is used to streamline and expedite the resolution of a variety of issues. To submit an askPGCC ticket for eLearning technical support, please click the following link to log in (using your student email address and Owl Link password) ask.PGCC.edu. All tickets submitted within askPGCC go directly to the Area of Service.

Contact Us

How do I find out about textbooks?

Most online courses require that students purchase one or more textbooks. You can purchase textbooks either in person at the campus bookstore or online. You will find specific information about textbooks for your class at https://www.bkstr.com/princegeorgesccstore/home and can order books online.

What are the tuition costs?

You can expect to pay the same tuition and fees for your online course as you would for other college courses. For information regarding the current tuition and fees, please click here. For more information about residency, see the current college catalog. All charges are levied per credit hour.

Online

Can I get an AA Degree entirely online?

Prince George's Community College is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. For a list of degrees and certificate programs that have been approved by our accrediting association and are available for distance delivery, click here.

How can I be successful at online testing?

Once a student begins a test (i.e., after clicking "OK" to the query 'Click OK to begin Assessment. Click Cancel to return.'), there are only three valid actions a student may perform:

  • The first valid action is 'answering' a question (selecting True/False, Multiple Choice, Fill-In-the-blank, etc.).
  • The second valid action is 'saving' the answers (clicking the <SAVE> button after entering each answer).
  • The third valid action is 'submitting' the entire assessment (clicking the <SUBMIT> button when completely finished with the test).

Important: Using the mouse or keyboard to perform ANY other action, such as <BACKSPACE> OR <REFRESH>, could ruin the outcome of the assessment. Also, answering and/or clicking on the <SAVE> button after 10 minutes from the last answer (no matter how long the instructor allows you to take the assessment), could ruin the outcome as well. Using the slide bar to move up or down the assessment page is the only exception.

How do I take assessments (tests, exams, quizzes)?

How you take assessments depends on how your instructor sets it up. Below are two possible ways in which assessments are given in online courses:

Assessments can be taken online in Blackboard. You log in to your Blackboard course and access your exam from within your course. Your assessment will be available during a certain timeframe and may have a time limit to take the assessment. Most instructors allow you to access the assessment only one time. If you are disconnected from your Internet provider while you are taking the assessment, contact your instructor immediately to report a problem.

Some instructors give assessments on-campus in the Testing Center. You will need to go to the Testing Center during its regularly scheduled hours of operation to take your exam.

Be prepared to show a photo ID. You should check the hours of the Testing Center and other requirements on the Testing Center web page.

Should I do all my assignments or papers in Blackboard or offline?

The electronic world is uncertain; Internet users know that service will sometimes be disrupted with no warning.

For assignments and papers, it's best to work off line and save your files to disk or a flashdrive. You don't have to worry about being disconnected before you finish and submit your work. You can then copy and paste your assignments into your Blackboard course or upload your file and submit your assignment. You should receive a confirmation that your assignment has been submitted.

Always save a copy of your files in case something gets lost in cyberspace. It's your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments; instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they've never seen.

Your instructor may require you to take quizzes or exams using Blackboard's test feature; often, you can access the test only one time. If you are disconnected from your Internet provider while you are taking the exam, contact your instructor immediately to report a problem.

What do I do if I have emailed the instructor and I have not received a reply?

If you emailed your instructor and don't receive a reply within 24 hours (not including weekends), please go to College Directory and look up the number for the academic department in which your course resides.

If you are unable to reach the Department Chair, please contact eLearning Services and we will help you find an alternative.

What if I have problems logging into Blackboard?

Most of the college's online courses use Blackboard as their online delivery software. You will find login directions on the web. If you are unable to login, here are some possible reasons:

Generally, you will be able to login to your Blackboard course(s) four days prior to the start-date of your class if you register before then. If you register during the four days, it may take up to 24 hours to transfer your registration information from Owl Link to the Blackboard server.

Your Blackboard login account is the same as your Owl Link account. Try logging into Owl Link. If you cannot log into Owl Link, you will need to reset your password. Once you can successfully log into Owl Link, you should be able to login to Blackboard using the same username and password. If you are registered in a credit class and you can't login within 24 hours after registering, contact eLearning Services

What is an online course?

To take an online course, you must have access to a computer at home or at work. You will log in to your class to receive course information, view course content, submit assignments, and have discussions with your instructor and fellow students.

It is very important to remember the following points about online learning:

Online learning is flexible and convenient...but NOT EASIER!

  • You can expect to study a minimum of 6-9 hours each week for each online class you are taking.
  •  Most online classes at PGCC are not self-paced. The instructor sets the deadlines for the course and students.
What is Blackboard?

The college uses Blackboard as its web-based course management system. You can reach Blackboard at https://pgcconline.blackboard.com. You must have a user name and a password in order to login to your online course. Just as you have become familiar with the set up of a classroom on campus, you will become familiar with the features of an online classroom within Blackboard:

  • Announcements
  • Start Here
  • Syllabus & Schedule
  • Course Content
  • Discussion Board
  • Faculty Info
  • Quicklinks
  • Library Resources 
Course information and content:

Like other forms of electronic communication, Blackboard records each time you log in and the course areas you visit while online. Your instructors will know whether or not you are participating (just as they would in a face-to-face class), so make sure you participate to the fullest extent.

Where do I find the course descriptions for the online course I'm interested in taking? Who do I call if I don't understand the course description for the online course I want to take?

There are three things you can do to find out more about the course:

  • Click on eLearning Class Schedules. Click on the course you are interested in taking, then click on the instructor's name. You will be taken to the People Directory for the college where you can search for your instructor and get their phone number.
  • Go to the college's home page at http://www.pgcc.edu and click on the 'Programs and Courses' then select 'Online Catalog'. You can search the catalog under 'Catalog Search' on the left of the screen.
  • Go to the College Directory and look up the number for the academic department in which your course resides. For example, if you are taking ACC 1000 Fundamentals of Accounting, you would look for the Accounting Department.
Will I have to come to campus to take tests or attend classes?

While many online classes do not require you to come on campus for tests or class meetings, there are some classes that do require you to come to campus. It's best to check your instructor's syllabus or contact your instructor directly:

To check your instructor's syllabus: Go to your Bb course and click on the Syllabus & Schedule link.

Hybrid/Online

What is a Hybrid/Online Course?

A Hybrid/Online Course combines classroom meetings and online instruction. Students enrolled in a Hybrid/Online course come to campus at scheduled times and meet face-to-face with their professors and fellow students. The number of on-campus meetings varies some only meet once a month while others may meet every week. Other course work assignments, discussion, group work, etc. is accomplished through the Internet, using Blackboard. Students interact online to receive information about assignments, send homework, participate in class discussions, and conduct research.

What is expected of me in a hybrid/online class?
To be successful in your hybrid/online class, you are expected to:
  • Have an Owl Link account. (You must have logged in to Owl Link and reset your password.)
  • Have access to a computer with Internet service and an email account
  • Attend all of the scheduled face-to-face class meetings
  • Participate regularly in the online portions of the class
  • Plan to ensure enough time to study and complete assignments
  • Commit 6 - 9 hours per week per three-credit class
  • Enjoy communicating in writing and reading the writing of others
  • "Speak up" to your instructors when problems arise
  • Be willing to take responsibility for your learning
  • Be able to learn easily from reading and writing
  • Know how to use technology properly
  • Read and write well
  • Be comfortable addressing problems at a distance
  • Have good time management skills to follow a schedule for finishing readings and assignments
  • Have good research skills, including how to effectively use the Internet
  • Have the ability to work well cooperatively, even when your communication is restricted to email or online chat
Why take a hybrid/online class?

Taking a hybrid/online class requires fewer trips to campus for regularly scheduled class times. This can be reflected in less travel time to and from class and also less money spent on transportation costs. Sometimes it is difficult for a student with other work and family responsibilities to be able to commit to a regular face-to-face class schedule.

Taking a hybrid/online class provides more flexibility with regard to the student's time. Some students are not interested in taking totally online classes and would prefer to have times when they can actually meet their instructor and fellow classmates.

Hybrid/online courses make for a great combination: some flexibility that comes with online classes, but also the sense of community that is found when attending face-to-face classes. These hybrid/online classes provide the best of both worlds.

Blackboard

I can access Blackboard from home. Why can't I use Blackboard from my computer at work?

Blackboard should be fully accessible from any computer with Internet access. In some cases, if you are using a computer at a government agency or a private company, you may experience difficulty because Port 80 has been closed. Port 80 allows the exchange of secure information between the Blackboard system and your computer. To resolve this problem, you must contact your network/security administrator and ask if access to Port 80 is disabled.

How do I change my password?

You must go through Owl Link to change your password. Once you change your password in Owl Link, it will be changed for Blackboard.

To reset your Owl Link password follow these steps:

Note: you MUST have a valid email address on file with
Admissions and Records to reset your Owl Link password.
If you do not, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 301-546-0637 or email at servicedesk@pgcc.edu.

  1. If you do not remember your password, you must reset it. By resetting your Owl Link password, your Blackboard password will automatically be reset.
  2. Reset your Owl Link password by selecting "Forgot my Password" either from the Login Screen or under User Accounts on the Credit Student menu.
  3. Enter your last name and either your social security number or your 7-digit student id.
  4. Select the email address you want the temporary password sent to.
  5. Check your email to receive your password.
  6. Log into Owl Link using the temporary password. You will then get a screen that tells you that your password has expired and you must reset it. Re-enter your Username and temporary password. Then enter a password of your choice. It must be a minimum of (8) characters in length and contain at least one upper case letter, at least one lower case letter, and at least one number.
  7. You can then use this same Username and Password to log into Blackboard.

 

Note that if you just got your Owl Link account set up, it takes 1 business day before you can log into Blackboard.

How do I login to Blackboard?

The Prince George's Community College Blackboard Web site is located at https://pgcconline.blackboard.com. Click on 'Blackboard Support for Students'.

 

Should I do all my assignments or papers in Blackboard or offline?

The electronic world is uncertain; Internet users know that service will often be disrupted with no warning. Instructors have little patience with hearing that you lost your work just as you were going to send it (This is the Internet equivalent of "The dog ate my homework.").

For assignments and papers, It's best to work offline and save your files to disk. You don't have to worry about being disconnected before you finish and submit your work. You can then upload your assignment file or copy and paste your assignments into your Blackboard course.

Always save a copy of your files in case something gets lost in cyberspace. It's your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments; instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they've never seen. 

Your instructor may require you to take quizzes or exams using Blackboard's test feature; often, you can access the test only one time. If you are disconnected from your Internet provider while you are taking the exam, contact your instructor immediately to report a problem.

Special Characters in Blackboard filenames cause lots of problems!

The use of special characters (i.e. "#", "+". "!"), can potentially cause problems in Blackboard. You can run into problems if you use special characters in your filenames used as attachments for the Discussion Board or your Assignments.

What if I can't remember my password?

If you can't remember your password, you must reset it through Owl Link. 

To reset your Owl Link password follow these steps:

Note: you MUST have a valid email address on file with Admissions and Records to reset your Owl Link password.

If you do not, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 301-546-0637 or email at servicedesk@pgcc.edu.

  1. If you do not remember your password, you must reset it. By resetting your Owl Link password, your Blackboard password will automatically be reset.
  2. Reset your Owl Link password by selecting "Forgot my Password" either from the Login Screen or under User Accounts on the Credit Student menu.
  3. Enter your last name and either your social security number or your 7-digit student id.
  4. Select the email address you want the temporary password sent to.
  5. Check your email to receive your password.
  6. Log into Owl Link using the temporary password. You will then get a screen that tells you that your password has expired and you must reset it. Re-enter your Username and temporary password. Then enter a password of your choice. It must be a minimum of (8) characters in length and contain at least one upper case letter, at least one lower case letter, and at least one number.
  7. You can then use this same Username and Password to log into Blackboard.

 

Note that if you just got your Owl Link account set up, it takes 1 business day before you can log into Blackboard.

What if I have problems logging into my online class?

Most of the college's online courses use Blackboard as their online delivery software. If you are unable to login, here are some possible reasons:

  • Your username and/or password are incorrect. 
  • Generally, you will not be able to login to your Blackboard course(s) until the day of the on-campus eLearning orientation.
  • It takes up to 24 hours to transfer your registration information from Owl Link to the Blackboard server.
  • Your instructor may not be using Blackboard; if you can't log in within 24 hours after registering, contact your instructor directly by email or phone. You will find a course list for the semester in which you are registered on the Class Schedules page.

To login to your Blackboard course, please follow these steps:

  • Go to the Prince George's Community College Blackboard Web site which is located at https://pgcconline.blackboard.comNOTE: There is no "www" in the Blackboard address.
  • ALL PGCC STUDENTS must log in to Blackboard using their Owl Link username and password.
  • Type your Owl Link username and password into the Blackboard login box.  If your login is successful, you will see the PGCC Blackboard Homepage. In module labeled "My Courses", you will see the course(s) in which you are enrolled.  Click on the course name to access your Blackboard course.
  • HOWARD COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENTS will receive an email with login instructions. Your instructor will also be able to give you login information. Please check your HCC student email account.
What is my Blackboard email address?

Your student email address is referred to as 'Owl Mail' and is your OwlLink user id with '@students.pgcc.edu' (OwlLinkID@students.pgcc.edu). All email sent from within Blackboard will be delivered to your student email address. Before you can use your student email, you must activate your account. To activate your Owl Mail student email, go to the Owl Mail. Noncredit students who do not use Blackboard currently do not receive Owl Mail accounts.

Where can I get help with Blackboard?

If you need help using Blackboard, here are some things you can do:

First, ask your classmates! Most instructors provide a discussion board dedicated specifically to questions about the technology and the class. Use the discussion board to ask your fellow students how to solve a technical problem...chances are, there are some "computer wizards" in your class who can find a solution to your problem.

Call or stop by the eLearning Services Office during regular operating hours. You can find a list of these hours on the Contact Us page.

Email your instructor. Click on the 'Quicklinks' link in your course and select 'Send Email', send an email to all course instructors

Noncredit Courses

Does my noncredit course count toward a particular certificate?

For information on noncredit programs and certificates, contact the PGCC Information Center at enroll@pgcc.edu and 301-546-0075, 301-546-0822, or 301-546-7422.

What course formats are offered for noncredit courses?

PGCC offers noncredit online courses in two different formats: ed2go, and Blackboard

The main difference among these formats is the subjects and topics that are offered. 

The online classrooms don't differ significantly from format to format.  But, the process of registering for the courses and accessing the coursework is different, depending on the format of the online course. Learn More

 

What if I'm not really technical?

PGCC eLearning Services office offers orientation for online students. In the orientation, you will learn how to log into your online classroom and how to navigate your online class. The eLearning Services office can conduct individual orientation sessions by phone (must be connected to the Internet while on the phone) or in-person, upon request. If you are interested, please contact the eLearning Services office. For support for your online course, see the eLearning Services office.

What information is on the Noncredit Course Schedule?

The PGCC Course Schedule is divided into topic areas. The first section addresses the Workforce Development needs of our students. The second half contains Continuing Education topics. Within these two domains are many topic categories, which are grouped under large headings and then into smaller sub-headings. For descriptions of particular courses, click on the title of the course.

The Course Schedule indicates in what format each online course is offered.

 Note the format type of the class that you choose by looking at the far-right Format column, which indicates the type of class: Ed2Go or Blackboard. The type of class will determine the registration procedures and the Web address that you will need when accessing your course. You can click on the format type in the class schedule for more information about how the course is delivered, and you can click on the individual course titles for a description of the course.

What is a hybrid course?

Most of the noncredit online courses are offered totally online, but some are hybrid courses, a combination of face-to-face class meetings and online. Which of these choices is best for you? It may depend on your daily schedule.

Technical Support

Is there any technical help available in the evenings or on the weekends?

The eLearning Services offers phone support from Monday through Friday until 9 pm. There are no scheduled weekend hours for either phone or email support.

What do I do if I need a plug-in to access course materials?

Some courses require you to install plug-ins, which are free software programs available on the Web. These tools add functions to your web browser or enable you to view specialized content.

Links to the most commonly used plug-ins (Adobe Reader, PowerPoint Viewer, Excel Viewer, etc) can be found under Browser Plugins and Downloads on the eLearning Technical Support page. This page contains links to each product's download page where installation instructions are provided.

What should I do if I need technical help?

If you need help using Blackboard or have other technical questions, here are some things you can do:

  • First, ask your classmates! Most instructors provide a discussion board dedicated specifically to questions about the technology and the class. Use the discussion board to ask your fellow students how to solve a technical problem...chances are, there are some "computer wizards" in your class who can find a solution to your problem.
  • Call or stop by the eLearning Services Center during regular operating hours. You can find a list of these hours on the Contact Us page.
  • Email your instructor. Click on the 'Quicklinks' link in your course. Select 'Send Email'. Then 'Send Email to all Instructors'.